July 10, 2014

Readying Equipment for Extreme Conditions

As access to the world’s oil and gas reserves becomes constrained, the interest in and potential for exploration and production (E&P) in ever more remote regions has increased. This is especially true in the northern United States, where E&P spending is forecast to grow significantly. This poses new challenges for the industry as professionals work to maintain and preserve equipment as the weather gets colder.

While extreme environments can call for specialized equipment designed to withstand the rigors of exposure, there are many steps that can be taken to minimize the effect of the elements on existing infrastructure. In Artic regions where the ambient temperature can be expected to require operations in temperatures as low as -50 degrees F; special considerations must be made to minimize the risk of equipment failure or breakage.

One area of notable concern is the failure of portable masts during raising or lowering. While hard data as to the causality is slim, the increased reports of failure under extreme conditions indicate that the structural properties of steel are affected below -40 degrees F. In these conditions it is recommended that high pressure steam or other suitable methods of warming be applied to sections of the mast, especially points of attachment. Lines should be taken up and loosened repeatedly and all engines should be warmed and in proper operating condition to reduce the chance of sudden braking or jarring of the mast. Finally, scheduling operations for the warmest time of day will reduce the strain on the equipment.

While ProSight’s line of insurance products for the oil and gas industry offers protection from loss, the adage that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure has never been more fitting than when dealing with climate extremes.

For more information about ProSight’s products for the oil and gas industry, please contact Program Manager Carol Tyrrell at ctyrrell@prosightspecialty.com or by phone at 818 230 8230.